Probably my most favorite place on the coast. (Central coast of Australia that is)
Terrigal has an airy beauty and ritzy up-market feel. The pleasant ambience may have something to do with the stand of very well-established Norfolk pines along The Esplanade which lend character and beauty to the beachfront. A pathway beneath the trees leads alongside the beach and out to the most prominent natural feature of Terrigal, the oddly-shaped headland known as ‘The Skillion’.
Terrigal is one of the most popular residential, holiday resort and retirement centers on the Central Coast. It is located 91 km north of Sydney via the Newcastle Freeway. Visitors flock here for fishing, swimming, surfing, boating, waterskiing and the natural scenery. Anglers will find snapper, flathead and jewfish offshore and bream, flathead and blackfish in the surf.
Terrigal Beach marks the southern end of four kilometres of unbroken beach which extends northwards to Wamberal Point. Just behind the middle section is Terrigal Lagoon.
The original inhabitants were reputedly the Awabakal or Guringgai Aborigines. It is known that the latter tribe wore possum hair belts (in which they carried their few possessions) and, occasionally, possum skin clothing. The men carried spears, boomerangs, stone axes, boomerangs and shields and hunted large prey such as kangaroos and fish which they speared. The women, however, provided most of the food – fish (caught on fishing lines), shellfish, fruit, tubers, insect larvae, snakes, lizards and small mammals.
The first European settler was John Gray who arrived in 1826 and called his property Tarrygal, after the indigenous place name, signifying ‘place of little birds’.
There was a sawmill in the area established by Thomas Davis in the 1870s. It produced about 150 km of wood a week and employed 120 men (including 70 teamsters for carting the logs) and a tramway ran the timber to a jetty for shipment to Sydney.
Dairying later became important to the local economy. Tourism really got under way at the end of the 19th century thanks to a new focus on health and leisure in the culture and the opening up of the area to the general public with the completion of the railway line from Sydney to Newcastle in 1889 and the development of the roads.